Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mont Blanc and Mahatma do not go together: Centre Govt.India

We Have Withdrawn The Rs 1.5L Pens And Ads: MB
New Delhi: Can Mahatma Gandhi be the poster boy for driving home the message that a superexpensive Mont Blanc pen is “mightier than the sword”?

Certainly not, said the Centre on Monday. Solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam told a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan that the Centre had refused permission to Mont Blanc to use Gandhi’s image on their pens, the cheapest of which cost around Rs 1.5 lakh.
“We have rejected their two applications seeking permission to use Gandhiji’s image on their pens saying national emblem cannot be used for commercial purposes,” said the SG, which significantly meant that Gandhi’s images have been regarded by the government as national emblem.
Appearing for the Swiss pen major, counsel Hari Shankar told the Bench that after permission was refused, Mont Blanc discontinued sale of the pens and withdrew the advertisements.
But PIL petitioner Harsh Vardhan Surna alleged that the pens manufactured by Mont Blanc were sold and they should be penalised for misuse of the national emblem. But the court decided to dispose of the case after the counsel for Mont Blanc gave an undertaking that the remaining pens and advertisements would be withdrawn forthwith.
Attaching Mahatma Gandhi’s name with the expensive pen rebelled against the values and ideals which the Father of the Nation believed in and fought for throughout his life, the petitioner had said.
When this blatant commercial use of Mahatma Gandhi’s name and insignia in violation of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, was taking place, “the government, the ruling political party and the Opposition were silent,” the petitioner had said.
The PIL pointed out that Entry A of the Schedule to the Act listed that “the name or pictorial representation of Mahatma Gandhi” as an item cannot be categorically used for the purpose of any trade, business or profession.

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